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tv   Andrea Mitchell Reports  MSNBC  August 29, 2014 9:00am-10:01am PDT

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don't want to impact the discussions over the cr that could trigger a budget shutdown, a government shutdown? >> at this point i don't have an update in terms of timing. >> right now on "andrea mitchell reports," the missing strategy. >> i don't want to put the cart before the horse. we don't have a strategy yet. >> president obama signaling he's not ready to go after isis in syria. a rebuke to his own cabinet secretaries who have been calling for isis to be destroyed. today, britain's prime minister david cameron -- >> what we're facing in iraq now with isil is a greater and deeper threat to our security than we have known before.
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>> meanwhile, vladimir putin compares ukraine's military to the nazis. does he really think he can distract attention from his own military moves? into eastern ukraine. >> at every step, russia has come before this council to say everything except the truth. it is manipulated, it has obfiscated, it has outright lied. >> and he said/she said. senator kirsten gillibrand exposes congressional behavior that sounds like an episode of "mad men." and good day, everyone. i'm andrea mitchell in washington. we're following breaking news overseas. the terror threat in the united kingdom was increased to its
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highest level suince 2009 by david cameron just hours ago. >> we will always take whatever action is necessary to keep the british people safe here at home. britain has some of the finest and most effective security and intelligence services anywhere in the world. >> nbc's keir simmons is live in london. the uk raising its terror threat. no similar action here in the united states. is that proximity? >> i think so, andrea. that is about the fact that they believe that 500 british nationals have travelled to fight with isis. half of them are thought to have come back. we have seen them making open threats towards the uk on the internet, even in some interviews with journalists. it's not surprising the british security services have concluded they need to raise the terror threat level because they would be remiss if they didn't and,
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god forbid, something happened. but something else about that prime ministerial speech there, andrea. he delivered a blistering assessment of isis. he described them as political poison. he said their ideology is not religion. he said in fact, it is politics, extremism opposed by all religions around the world and it needs to be tackled in that way. he set out a frightening prospect. he talked about the threat that a jihadist state might exist on the mediterranean bordering a nato country. he said it is that grave and he talked about it as a generational struggle. he used the opportunity of raising this threat level, which is a domestic uk issue, a particular threat they are worried about. not to say there isn't an equal threat to the u.s. or a similar threat, but it seems the assessment is that it is particularly the case here in the uk. the prime minister used that opportunity to set out this wide
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ranging assessment of isis and it was pretty gray stuff. >> keir, he sounded more like chuck hagel and john kerry than barack obama. the president dialled it back and said he's not yet ready to move. this reminds me of a year ago when the british parliament didn't follow the prime minister's lead. is the uk -- are the people of great britain willing to take military action if necessary against isis because clearly the president of the united states is not. >> it's a really good question. and he was asked about that. he was asked specifically, did that vote in the british parliament which you'll remember was a vote against taking military action, against president assad in syria over the use of the -- the alleged use of chemical weapons. he was asked, did that vote in the end create the circumstances where isis was able to thrive and develop because the west hadn't -- had failed to intervene in syria. the british prime minister pushed back against that but it's really important to be clear that what the prime minister was talking about here was the threat of isis and in
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particular the uk and european domestic threat of isis. he didn't go as far as to start saying, okay, well now we need to try to intervene to attack isis in syria. he faces, in this country, the same kind of challenges as the president faces in the u.s. with the public really sick of international and military intervention. not convinced that kind of intervention has the kind of effect that western leaders in the past thought it might. so the same challenges are there, even with the british prime minister sounding so robust in that speech. >> they are all going to be together at the nato meeting in wales next week. president obama is facing critics in crises on all fronts after that news conference yesterday where he tried to dial back on how his own administration team may be dealing with the threat of isis. >> as our strategy develops, we will continue to consult with congress, and i do think that will be important for congress to weigh in and that our
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consultations with congress continue to develop so that the american people are part of the debate. but i don't want to put the cart before the horse. we don't have a strategy yet. >> joining me now is senator chris murphy, a member of the foreign relations committee. does the president have this right? he's reflecting american popular opinion, isn't he? not to start another war, not to get into another military engagement. same time, he has to balance that with his own rhetoric and the rhetoric of his national security team which right now are mismatched. >> well, he's reflecting public opinion, but he's also reflecting his knowledge as a former constitutional law professor of the obligations under the constitution, which give him the ability to intervene militarily if he's protecting united states interests against imminent harm. but he doesn't have the ability to engage in a long-term military conflict without congressional authorization. and so i think he is right here
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to suggest that there has to be some deference to congress ultimately to our constitutional right to declare war. now i will say, though, this is different than a year ago. there is more public willingness to confront isis than there was a year ago to get the united states involved in a civil war in syria against bashar al assad. i dont think it's any less complicated, any less messy, but i think there's a different public conversation going on right there. but that has to happen in the context of an authorization of military force that only congress then can ultimately provide this administration. >> senator, how do you square what john kerry said? kerry said, quote, isil's brutal ideology poses a severe threat to iraq, the region and the united states. and chuck hagel said, isil is a sophisticated and well funded as any group we've ever seen. they are beyond just a terrorist group. they marry ideology, a sophistication of strategic and
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tactical military prowess. they are talking about grave threats. the president saying we have time. we have to come up with a strategy. we don't have one yet. clearly the messaging was not right because his team went out afterwards and tried to fix it by saying this is what the president meant to say. but is he right to be cautious about it and should his national security team be on the same page? >> i actually don't see those statements as terribly inconsistent. i think the president shares the view as to many of us, that isis presents a unique threat to global stability and to the united states. the question is not whether there is a will. the question is not whether these are truly bad guys. the real question is whether there is a way. whether there is an ability through u.s. military intervention in a coordinated effort with our partners in europe and in the region to actually do something about it. so i thing president understands that this is a threat. i think he agrees with his national security team on that. but i think he is being appropriately sober in trying to figure out whether there is
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actually a military strategy that is going to make this situation better, not worse. and that has always been the american public's hesitancy here is that to get involved in the middle of a sectarian regional conflict, though your aims may be ultimately to root out a group like isis, you may just add fuel to a developing fire that's going to last years and decades. i think that's the debate that he's having internally. and it's the right one to have. >> senator, he seems to be having a debate with himself at times. at this point, do you agree with your colleague tim kaine who believes the president has already exceeded his authority with the surveillance flights over syria? >> i think the president has to come to congress before he strikes militarily in syria. i think that at the end of the war powers time frame, which is 60 days after the opening of the initial hostilities in iraq, he has to come to congress for authorization. we're going to be here for at least three weeks in september. we should have a debate an the floor of the senate and the floor of the house on an
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authorization resolution. it won't be easy, but the constitution demands that the american public and the united states congress give the president an authorization and i hope that we have that debate in september. >> senator, thank you very much. as the president's national security team wrestles with the decision on how to confront isis, the terror group released two more gruesome videos. one is of syrian soldiers stripped and a forced march through the desert. later they were executed. we won't show you that, obviously. another shows kurdish soldiers being beheaded. the same manner as american journalist james foley. also dreadful. this as we've confirmed foley and other americans held by isis were tortured. unlike their european counterparts, they were waterboarded as well while being held in that isis prison facility near raqa in northern syria. and andrew lipman spent more than 30 years working for the cia. retiring as the principal deputy director of the national counterterrorism center and is now a senior policy analyst at
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the rand corporation. thank you very much for joining us. is isis different from anything we've seen before, worse than al qaeda? >> it certainly is different. and it's really difficult to compare it to an organization like al qaeda. al qaeda was small, focused, selective. it never controlled territory. didn't try and govern other people. it really was focused almost exclusively on attacking a specific target, and that is the west. isis is much more of a militia, a government now. it claims itself to be a caliphate. and within the organization, it has clearly terrorist elements and it uses terrorist techniques. it's hard to call an organization of 15 or 20,000 a terrorist organization. it is clearly dangerous and mostly, at this point, a danger to regional stability.
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>> what's really interesting is also in looking at the genesis of it that baghdadi, the leader actually gains some of his colleagues from former baathist military when they were all imprisoned by the u.s. in iraq. they do operate as an army. they are making money from oil in their territories. they are making money from ransom. a lot of money from ransom and robbing banks and the rest. but are they really a threat to the homeland yet? are they able to organize plots, sophisticated plots which took a long time to organize by osama bin laden and his henchmen? >> well, that's a great question. your first point is really important to remember that isis or isil or i.s. isn't a single entity. it's the conglomeration of ji d jihadi jihadists, baathists, former regime elements of army --
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former army guys from iraq who are really good at both tactics and military techniques. i think that's sort of the secret behind much of this battlefield success so far. is it capable of plotting attacks against the united states? probably. is it focused on that right now? i would say probably not. isis is involved right now on at least four fronts of warfare. one with the syrian regime, one with other rebels within syria, and i think sometimes we forget that isis isn't the only bad actor out there. it's in mortal combat with another organization called al nusra which is an affiliate of al qaeda and perhaps even more dangerous than isis in terms of a threat to the united states. isis is also fighting the kurds, fighting the iraqi regime. so it has its hands really full right now. >> andrew liepman from rand,
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thank you. former deputy national counterterrorism center director. right now at the pentagon, admiral john kirby is briefing talking about ukraine and the threat from russia. let's listen in. >> there have been and will continue to be discussions, both here in the pentagon in the inner agency and across the river with the state department and the white house about what options look like. and what they could look like. but it's -- and when we get to a point where we're ready to have a more fullsome discussion about that, the pentagon will be ready to have that discussion. >> do the options he's been asked to develop are trying to combat isil in iraq and syria. is that right? >> the president yesterday was speaking specifically about options for potential military action in syria. that's what the president was referring to yesterday. and that's -- those are the plans and the options that he's looking for from us and that
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we're working an. specifically with respect to syria. and it's important to remember, we've been operating inside iraq from a humanitarian perspective and obviously from perspective of conducting air strikes. nothing has changed about those missions. we continue to conduct them. centcom continues to send press releases every day. up 100 air strikes every day since they began. so the discussion about operations in iraq continues because the operations in iraq continue. >> just to clarify. so you say you always have options on the table. this was a new request from the president for something. >> what the president was referring to was planning options inside syria. now i would be less than truthful if i said to you that we hadn't been thinking about that before yesterday. of course we have been. and we've talked about that. but two points. one, we're not at the point where we're prepared to have a more fullsome discussion about what those options are with the commander in chief. that's number one. and number two, and this is not
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a small point. that the commander in chief, secretary hagel, dempsey have all said, whatever the options are for syria, it is not just going to be military. there's not going to be a military solution here to the threat that isil poses. it's just not going to happen. it's got to be more comprehensive and regional and factor in other elements of regional power than just military. and so while we certainly for our sprapart have to work on wh those options could look like, there are other parts of our government working on options that they might need to pursue in the future going forward. >> -- are your options over flights of syria for gathering intelligence, isr? >> any military operation requires knowledge of the situation on the ground as the best you can get. we always want to have as much information and as accurate information as you can possibly
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have. so i think you can expect without getting into talking about specific hypothetical or future operations, that whatever options we prepare and what -- and are prepared to conduct, will be reliant upon getting and obtaining and analyzing the best information as you can on the ground. >> back in june when the congress and a lot of the public was asking what the united states can do to blunt the momentum of isil in iraq, chairman dempsey was clear at the time saying we don't have a complete picture yet. this is going to take a while. is it fair to say that your gathering of a complete air picture, a ground picture of isil in syria may take several weeks before you -- you are comfortable enough to have this fullsome discussion that you talked about? >> i don't think i'd be prepared to put a specific timeline on it in terms of weeks or days. i don't think i'd be prepared to do that and it wouldn't be prudent for me to do that. any time you're going to conceive of or prepare for
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military options anywhere in the world for any number of missions you'll want to get as much information as you can. you can expect that taxpayers, i think, would expect us to want to do this thing with -- if we get asked to do anything in syria, to do it with as much information as possible. but again, i wouldn't speculate about how or when or how long. >> a lot of the public is going to be worried about u.s. flyers going over there and possibly being shot down. can a lot of this be done from the iraq border or southern turkish border kind of peering into syria and a standoff capabilities? >> again, without talking about potential future operations or speculating, so what i'm about to say is not validating the premise of the question which is that we definitely will conduct strikes inside syria or that we are or will conduct surveillance one way or the other. there are many ways in which we gain situational awareness. some of that requires the use of
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air assets and some of it doesn't. i think i'll leave it at that. >> president obama says there is indeed no military option in ukraine for the united states to defend ukraine from vladimir putin. this the other major crisis now confronting this white house. putin today accusing the kiev government of acting like nazis in world war ii. perhaps hoping that that will distract the world's attention from his own military movements across the ukraine border. and in an anticipation of the next round of sanctions as the west gathers at nato meetings next week in wales. putin has closed 12 mcdonald's restaurants also in russia on trumped up charges of unsanitary conditions. joining me for reflection is nina krushcheva and a senior fellow at the world policy institute. welcome. very good to see you. you've been watching putin and how he has dialed this up against ukraine.
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and there really is no american or western military response other than arming ukraine or helping ukraine economically. we are not going to get involved in defending a nonnato nation against vladimir putin. >> you can't. you don't want to work with russia even in the worst times there was never war in russia. that's why we had the cold war and didn't have the hot war because this is going to be really plunging europe into a situation that probably will never get resolved. so there is a very, very limited option that the united states has. i think europe has much greater option to influence vladimir putin. but every time he feels that he's pushed a little further, he also has to push because the expectation and especially american expectations, suddenly he's going to man up and say, well, i am invading ukraine. it's not going to happen. we should not expect it from him. and we'll deal with that reality. >> you know, it's so interesting that putin is in complete
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denial. there have been satellite photos released by the u.n. and a lot of evidence of what russia is doing across the border. and at the same time, he's completely deny anything russian military movements and claiming it's ukraun that's the aggressor. and this right after his first meeting face to face, mini summit meeting if you will, with petro poroshenko, the ukrainian president. >> as long as in politics, as long as the government doesn't admit that it's doing something, actually, the government is not doing something. so once again, expecting that putin is going to admit it, it's not going to happen. because as long as he has official explanation, official denial, he's not at war with the ukraines. this conversation that we have it is a war. he has invaded. as far as he's concerned, none of it is true. and that's why, i think, they are ramping up all this nazi rhetoric which they have been right from the beginning. it's been going an for six months now. he compared ukrainian actions,
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the siege of lennen grad. it's not really for the foreign audience but the russian audience. nazi germany for the russians is the worst there was. so anyone would become a great enemy. and historically in politics, any time when you deny in the kremlin or even in the white house, if you deny your actions, they did not happen. i would like to remuind you, 1962, the u-2 incident, the pilot was shot down over the soviet territory. >> france's gary powers was denied. >> khrushchev who was premier at the time was saying, no, we know we have a pilot and president eisenhower would say, i dont know what you're talking about. so in politics, on a very, very important level, as long as you deny your actions, they do not happen. and i think putin is very much relying an that. >> that was your grandfather?
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>> my great grandfather, yes. >> so great to see you nina. more on men behaving badly on capitol hill and those revelations from senator kirsten gillibrand's new book when we come back. stay with us. i had 3 different 401(k)s. e*trade offers rollover options and a retirement planning calculator. now i know "when" i'm going to retire. not "if." thank ythank you for defendiyour sacrifice. and thank you for your bravery. thank you colonel. thank you daddy. military families are uniquely thankful for many things, the legacy of usaa auto insurance can be one of them. if you're a current or former military member or their family, get an auto insurance quote and see why 92% of our members plan to stay for life.
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democratic leader nancy pelosi is now sounding off about sexism on capitol hill after senator gillibrand recounseleded some of her unhappier experiences with male colleagues in a new book. >> it's absolutely ridiculous. it's disrespectful. there senator gillibrand is one of the great leaders in our country. some of it may be, i don't know. i don't know who the people were who said the things they said but let's hope it was generational and will fade away. but i thank her for her strength and shining a light on it so people know how tasteless and inappropriate it all is. >> seems to me i've been waiting
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30 years for things to fade away. joining me for our daily fix, "washington post" correspondent karen tumulty and ruth marcus. welcome both. we've all covered capitol hill at various times and we all know what we're talking about here. the legendary stories about don't get into an elevator with senator so and so. you know, and these were the same senators sitting at the clarence thomas hearings in 1991 ou covering that. >> exactly and saying, we don't understand what this issue might be and how could it possibly be, they wondered, that she could have been subjected to this if it were true and then followed him to another job. every woman in that room, i believe, understood what anita hill was up against and also understood when they read senator gillibrand's recounting of her episodes. understood immediately that that was accura there seemed to be some doubting, pardon the phrase, thomases out there, but i don't think they were doubting
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thomasinas. >> when you hear someone saying to her, don't gain any weight. you'll look porky. this right after she had a baby no less. touching her. touching her waist. >> i think there are few workplaces in america that have been so slow to change as capitol hill. i started covering congress in the 1980s. jeannette rankin had been elected in 1916. in the 80s -- >> from wyoming? >> wisconsin or -- i'm sorry. we'll figure that out. >> women still couldn't get into the house gym in the 1980s. >> they only just opened a rest room off the house floor. >> they couldn't wear slacks. >> right. in fact, there were issues for kirsten gillibrand of trying to be a young mom, where to breastfeed, where to have some privacy. what to do about, you know, having kids around. and she said -- this is a place you can't even use a blackberry an the senate floor so how can
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you suggest finding a place to breastfeed. >> politics is a very touchy business, literally touchy business. they are always touching each other. then when you sort of put two genders into the mix, that touching takes on different context and they need to be retrained. it takes a long time to have them be retrained. i also think -- i thought it was interesting that nancy pelosi said, well, things luke that hadn't really occurred to me. that seems a little surprising to me. it's certainly scarier when you have a gavel that people aren't going to do that to you but she was a young member once. maybe she was a little bit older when she came so maybe there's a -- an age thing that has to do with the person who is being talked to in not the appropriate way. i also think sarnenators in the 40s and 50s are in a different space than those in their 70s and 80s. and they have learned to behave better. their wives work at goldman
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sachs or in law firms. you are shaking your head at me so i'm really interested in the disagreement. but i think -- i do think the 40-year-old senators behave better. >> i think nancy pelosi was being a little disingenuous here. i can think of very few women in america who have had more public comment on their appearance than nancy pelosi. so it may be that she's just heard it so much she doesn't hear it anymore. >> do you remember when hillary clinton gave a speech an the senator floor and people started blogging about her cleavage? >> oh, yes. more than blogging. writing newspaper stories about it. i wrote a column about it. >> and the hillary hair stuff. you know, it's just -- the burden on women in politics is just so profoundly different. >> so perhaps it was a blow-free quality yesterday that there was so much comment about the president's tan suit. >> that was the exception that proves the rule. it's always going to be true that women's appearance is
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commented on, but also that's different than talking -- using the word porky. like rape, bad idea for politicians to use that word. don't say porky. >> the tan suit, we can just point out, there have been other presidents, plenty of them, we'll show you the pictures. ronald reagan and others who have worn the summer suit. and worse in fact. so we're not going to talk about the tan suit. one other thing hillary clinton finally spoke about ferguson in a paid speech with a commercial backdrop. she finally made comments about what's been happening for the last three weeks. a little late? a little behind the curve or is this just hillary clinton easing into the political role? >> well, if you're going to ease in you might have chosen a different venue. if you're seriously thinking about running for president, which i think she is seriously thinking about running for president, you might have wanted to find something calming,
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soothing, thoughtful to say earlier rather than waiting until most of the furor seems to be over. >> the content was completely boiler plate. it was nothing that could have gotten her into any kind of trouble. it was late and bland. >> this is the caution. this is what happens when the bonds of trust and respect that hold any community together fray. nobody wants to see our streets look like a war zone, not in america. we are better than that. >> take some time to cobble that together. >> it takes three weeks. thank you very much, karen tumulty and ruth marcus. about that tan suit, social media was buzzing over the president's fashion choice thursday. hashtags of tan suit and, yes, we tan, got plenty of traction. perhaps president obama was channeling one of his predecessors. president reagan wore a light tan suit when introducing sandra day o'connor as the first woman nominee to the supreme court in 1981. so did she in fact. and while signing the civil liberties act in 1988. my favorite, though, the best line of all came from someone
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around when both of those instances in washington for all of that. it's become one of the best political twitter accounts over the last year. that of the retiring dean of the house from @john underscore dingell. i see no problem with the color choice. you're watching andrea mitchell reports only on msnbc. jackie's heart attack didn't come with a warning. today her doctor has her on a bayer aspirin regimen to help reduce the risk of another one. if you've had a heart attack be sure to talk to your doctor before you begin an aspirin regimen.
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great. this is the last thing i need.) seriously? let's take this puppy over to midas and get you some of the good 'ol midas touch. hey you know what? i'll drive! i really didn't think this through. brakes, tires, oil, everything. (whistling)
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♪ ooooohh!!! ♪ what it is, what you want? yeah. ♪ live your life right ♪ make the beat the bump
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♪ the undeniable! ♪ come into the party in a b-boy stance ♪ i rock on the mic ♪ and make the world wanna dance ♪ fly like a dove ♪ that come from up above ♪ i'm rocking on the mic ♪ and you can call me mos love ♪ ooooohh!!! ♪ yeah yeah. yeah yeah. ♪ welcome back. the white house has been working overtime since president obama's comments yesterday trying to clean up that no strategy message. obama press secretary josh earnest at the white house briefing moments ago. >> the president was talking specifically about military options for counterering isis in syria. the president hadn't yet laid out a specific plan for military action in syria. and the reason for that is simply that the pentagon is still developing that plan. he's still reviewing them. and it would be putting the cart before the horse to talk about
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what sort of congressional authorization would be required for a plan that hant been put in place yet. if obama were to seek approval from congress, would congress back him up. i'm joined by congressman schiff. >> great being here. >> there was certainly no support for taking up his request, that he then pulled back for some kind of authorization last year. exactly at this time against assad over the chemical weapons use against civilians in syria. is congress now prepared because of the isis threat, do you think, to authorize more action against syria, including air strikes? >> no, i don't think so. and i'm glad the president pushed back against the expectations that we're going to imminently attack or have air strikes in syria. for the main point that i don't think the case has been made for them yet. we don't have the same infrastructure on the ground to work with. we don't have the kurdish
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peshmerga. it's a very different situation there, and i think it makes far more sense to work to push isis out of iraq, contain it in syria until we can bring about a change politically in syria. and there, i think, really the strategy ought to look like it does in iraq. we, working with regional allies and regional adversaries helped push nuri al maliki out. and there may be an opportunity to telegraph that if they push him out, we're ready to work with the sunnis, alawites, kurds, christians and try to bring about a long-term solution in syria. >> although that hasn't worked until now. and in the interim, the death toll has been horrendous. 200,000 people. >> that's very true. but the situation an the ground is changing. i think as isis creates more enemies in syria, as the syrian people lose confidence, those that have been supporting assad
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lose confidence in his leadership, as iran and even hezbollah look at their climbing losses and the threat posed by isis there may be a new consensus emerging that assad has to go. and that will be very positive. >> by the way, david cameron raised the threat level for the uk today, but according to dhs, dhs just put out a statement saying the department of homeland security and the fbi are unaware any of specific credible threat to the u.s. homeland from isil. plainly, however, violent extremists who support isil have demonstrated the intent and capability to target american citizens overseas. and isil constitutes an active and serious threat within the region. that said, there was a supporter of isil or isis who was from florida and traveled back and forth ending up dying in a bombing in syria. but re-entered the united states without our even knowing of his presence. >> that's exactly right. that points out that there's a
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near-term risk to us. not of the same magnitude we have faced historically from al qaeda. but there's a near-term risk and over time, that risk is going to expand as the number of foreign fighters try to come home. but even now something we have to confront at the same time, this horrible execution of the journalist, this near-term threat to the united states shouldn't compel us to take acts that don't necessarily address that threat but do hold out the prospect of really entangling us in that war in syria. and so i think the president has widely hit the pause button on some of the military planners that were pushing him to go forward. until we can be sure that a military operation in syria will be productive. >> military planners and other members of the national security team, secretary of state, has been very vocal. >> he's been very vocal about the threat. i don't know that he's been vocal in terms of saying that the way to answer that threat is with military strikes. and, you know, part of the
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problem is that if we go and bomb syria right now, to try to displace isis, who takes over that territory? is it al? usra? iszbollahhezbollah, the assad regime forces. until there are, i think the president is right to say let's think first. >> no good options indeed. good to see you congressman adam schiff. coming up next -- outgoing tulane president scott cowen and aspen institute president walter isaacson on the aftermath of katrina. lessons learned. [ brian ] in a race,
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ceremony in norew orleans to commemorate the anniversary. outgoing tulane president was vital in helping to revitalize the still recovering city. he's written a book called "the inevitable city, the future of new orleans." and scott coen joins me along with walter isaacson who also wrote the book's forward and was appointed vice chair of the louisiana recovery act after the storm. welcome both. president cowen, what you've accomplished is extraordinary. let's talk about where we've been and where new orleans still has to go. >> what's happened in new orleans over the last nine years is quite remarkable. i don't think we ever could have envisioned in 2004 that new orleans in 2014 would look the way it does today. in essence, we've re-imagined the city and rebuilt the city literally and figuratively. everything from the flood protection system to the public school system to our
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neighborhoods. and i don't think we can declare victory yet, but i think we're all very pleased with the progress we've made and we see a future for new orleans, quite honestly, that i don't think we saw before katrina happened. >> walter isaacson, you've been so dedicated to revitalizing the school system and helping the less fortunate in new orleans. have they made progress at the pace of the business community? >> absolutely. one of the great things that's happened in new orleans was very instrumental in it is creating a new type of school system saying, okay, we now can start from scratch. and so parents have choice. all the schools are like charter schools. they are all public, but you can pick any one. people can run the schools in different ways. and with that notion of having choice, i think there have been double digit gains in the last few years. >> before katrina, 63% of the students in new orleans were attending a failed school.
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today that's 5%. so just seeing that decrease over this last nine years has been remarkable. and i don't think would have been -- >> let me give one shout out to scott. not only was he involved with me and others in the revitalization of schools but there's now a scott cowen institute at tulane university named after him that studies how this new template for a school system works. it anybody wants to know here's certain details, how do they work, this is a great research institute that's now down there. >> how safe is new orleans? if there were another horrendous storm? if another katrina happened? >> i think it is very safe if another katrina happened. the corps of engineers invested close to $14 billion in the last nine years to enhance, strengthen our flood protection system. as you may know, we've had a couple of hurricanes since katrina. and some that were pretty severe by our normal standards. and we were able to withstand those hurricanes. i think we all feel very
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confident about the physical protection and safety of the city from further hurricanes. >> absolutely. >> and if you were a resident of the ninth ward today compared to when katrina struck? >> yeah, the ninth ward, parts of it have come back very well. a lot of schools. some of the grade schools have opened in the ninth ward. so the ninth ward is coming back, but the main thing that's happened in new orleans is that people have moved closer to the center of the city. higher density center in the original footprint of the city, and i think that's good. i think it's really important in the 21st century not to have a sprawling city but a more compact city. >> what is the population difference now? >> today the population is about 378,000. pre-katrina about 470,000. and that increase, it's been going up every year, but at a
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small pace now. and we think it will continue to increase because there's been a tremendous migration of young people into new orleans over the last nine years. so even the composition of the population has changed dramatically. >> you have a lot of young creative people coming in. some with teach for america. some with the creative industries. and i think the whole area, the metropolitan area, is bigger and stronger than has been because, obviously, the extraction industry is like oil and natural gas are doing well also. >> there's music, there's food, there's all -- >> more restaurants, andrea, than before the storm. a lot more restaurants. you have to come down with us. come visit. >> you're on. i'm there. thank you so much. walter isaacson, scott cowen, congratulations. >> you know your husband used to play clarinet in new orleans. >> i do know that in fact. it is a fact. but not nearly as well as the musicians who went on to greatness in new orleans. the great legacy of music in
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that great city. scott cowen, i was just going to congratulate you on a great career at tulane. wonderful institution. >> and a wonderful book. >> thank you very much. i have to say one of the things that's happened in my personal and professional life was moving to new orleans in the 1990s. and being part of katrina. i wish it hadn't happened, but i feel blessed i was there during that period of time. >> the book is the inevitable city. thank you both so much. great to be with you. perhaps president obama said it best at thursday's briefing. >> i'm going to start with somebody who i guess is now a big cheese. he's moved on. >> the big cheese, our own chuck todd has spent more than four years giving us great political insight right here an msnbc. even some top secret white house information on one particular side dish. >> split pea. a lot of us would like to be splitting this week but i have a feeling the senate ain't
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allowing it. we're not splitting anywhere. better call it stayed pea. navy bean spoep it's a little passover leftovers combined with a little bit of mexican feel. obviously a soup that was not very active during the bush years. miso happy with this one. >> coming up next, more personal thoughts about white house soups and our friend and colleague chuck todd. viagra.com to find ot about viagra home delivery. millions of men have some degree of erectile dysfunction. talk to your doctor, if viagra is right for you, you can fill your prescription at your pharmacy, or check out viagra home delivery and get started at viagra.com ask your doctor if your heart is healthy enough for sex. do not take viagra if you take nitrates for chest pain, it may cause an unsafe drop in blood pressure. side effects include headache, flushing, upset stomach, and abnormal vision. to avoid long-term injury, seek immediate medical help for an erection lasting more than four hours. stop taking viagra and call your doctor right away if you experience a sudden decrease or loss in vision or hearing. viagra home delivery.
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the day you found out you got "meet the press" was probably the biggest day of your professional life yet you came and visited me and our little baby on that night and it was really special to me. >> i have to say, that in many ways, that's was still the most important piece of news that happened to me that week because i'm so happy for you and mike. >> it really is a family here. it seems like only yesterday that chuck and savannah were launching the daily rundown. we've all traveled a lot of miles since then. the 2011 ames, iowa, straw poll
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was only one example of his encyclopedic knowledge of all things political in every state of the union. >> the hint as the afternoon went on as more people showed up was, the bigger the turn out for bachmann. that's indeed what happened. >> almost 17,000 votes totaled unofficially. you brought the first news of this when you said there was a long line outside her tent. that's all anecdotal. it means there's energy, organizational skill. there's money. >> for chuck, politics as he would say, is not a game. it's a passion. because it reflects the worst and best of our democracy. there's no one i'd rather work with in all kinds of weather at inaugurations and other. chuck and i have traveled around the world. it all comes back to the basics. to good character, to great journalism, to real connection to you, the viewers and the readers. you will keep seeing chuck on all of our shows and driving our political coverage on all of our
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networks. starting september 7th, a week from now, his home base will be in the anchor chair moderating "meet the press." i'm going to be moderating "meet the press" this sunday. senator dianne feinstein among my guests. the chair of the intelligence committee. and you might see chuck todd as well. that does it for this edition of "andrea mitchell reports." follow the show online on facebook and on twitter @mitchellreports. have a wonderful labor day, those of you on holiday. "ronan farrow daily" is next. and "minus" our expenses. perfect timing. we're offering our best-ever pricing on mobile plans for business. run the numbers on that. well, unlimited talk and text, and ten gigs of data for the five of you would be... one-seventy-five a month. good calculating kyle. good job kyle. you just made partner. our best-ever pricing on mobile share value plans for business. now with a $100 bill credit for every business line you add.
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>> i don't want to put the cart before the horse. we don't have a strategy yet. >> you could argue that was a michael kinsley definition of a gaffe, speaking the accidental truth. >> i think he was being very transparent. if you don't know what you're going to do the day after, if you could destroy isis, what do you do next? i'm krystal ball filling in for ronan farrow. first up, britain just raised its terror threat level to severe today. prime minister david cameron held a news conference to explain why. >> this is not some foreign conflict thousands of miles from home that we can hope to ignore. the ambition to create an extremist caliphate in the heart of iraq and syria is a threat to ou

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